December 8, 2023


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 63 of the conflict:

  • The United Nations estimates that some 1.9 million people in Gaza have been displaced amidst Israel’s ongoing military operations against Hamas in the region and says new so-called safe zones designated by Israel in Gaza are inadequate to safely provide for people due to overcrowding and the lack of food, water, and medical care. [more]
  • The Israeli military said today that it had struck more than 450 targets in Gaza over the past 24 hours - the most since a week-long cease-fire ended last week and about double the daily number of strikes reported in recent days. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 652 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian officials say Russia fired 19 long-range missiles at targets across Ukraine overnight, killing at least one civilian and wounding at least eight more. Reports say 14 of the missiles were shot down and that those that made it through air defenses also damaged an industrial facility and power infrastructure sites. [more]
  • U.N. Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav Jenca told the Security Council this week that increased Russian attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure are worsening humanitarian conditions across Ukraine. [more]

TRUMP FEDERAL ELECTION TRIAL | Attorneys for former U.S. President Donald Trump filed an appeal yesterday, seeking to overturn a court ruling that rejected Trump’s claim that he is immune from criminal prosecution. The notice of appeal further requested that all deadlines in the case, in which Trump is charged with plotting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, be frozen while the appeal is considered. [more]

HUNTER BIDEN | While already facing federal firearms charges, Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, was indicted yesterday on nine charges related to his alleged failure to pay some $1.4 million in taxes between 2016 and 2018. Reports note that the back taxes have since been paid. [more]

U.S. UNEMPLOYMENT | The Labor Department reports that 220,000 people in the U.S. filed initial claims for unemployment benefits in the week ended December 2 – up 1,000 from the prior week. The Department further notes that ongoing benefit claims for the week ended November 24 fell by 64,000, compared to the previous week. [more]

U.S. HEALTH | Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that 1.3% of U.S. adults responding to the National Health Interview Survey in 2021-2022 reported having been told by a doctor or other healthcare professional that they had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, suggesting that up to 3.3 million people in the U.S. may suffer from the condition. [full CDC report] [more]

U.S. RAIL FUNDING | On a trip to Nevada today, President Joe Biden is scheduled to announce $8.2 billion in new funding for 10 major passenger rail projects across the country, including planned high-speed train routes linking Nevada and California, the California cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, and the Virginia and North Carolina cities of Richmond and Raleigh. [White House fact sheet] [more]

RETAIL THEFT | The U.S. National Retail Federation trade group yesterday retracted its statement from earlier this year that organized retail crime accounts for about half of overall inventory loss in the retail industry, saying the statement was based on erroneous data. The group declined to provide a new estimate, but said organized retail theft remains a serious problem. [more]

ARMENIA AND AZERBAIJAN | Following flare-ups of tensions and military confrontation in September over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, Armenia and Azerbaijan announced an agreement yesterday under which prisoners of war will be exchanged and work will be undertaken to agree to, and sign, a peace treaty. [more]

COP28 | Speaking this week at the COP28 U.N. climate summit in Dubai, Wopke Hoekstra, the European Commissioner for Climate Action, said that this year’s climate talks should “mark the beginning of the end” of fossil fuels. [more]

THAILAND AND MYANMAR | Officials with Thailand's foreign ministry announced today that their country will work with military-ruled Myanmar to increase humanitarian aid to the more than 300,000 people displaced by ongoing fighting in northern Myanmar. [more]

GERMANY | German railway operator Deutsche Bahn says up to 80% of its long-distance trains would not operate today amidst a 24-hour strike by the GDL train drivers’ union over pay and working hours issues. [more]

PACIFIC SECURITY | National security advisors from the U.S., South Korea, and Japan are scheduled to meet in Seoul tomorrow for talks expected to center on North Korea, regional security, and other global issues. [more]

RUSSIA | Speaking at a military awards ceremony today, Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed that he will seek a fifth term in office in next year’s presidential elections. [more]

GOLF | Two-time major champion and No. 3 ranked professional golf player Jon Rahm announced yesterday that he is leaving the PGA Tour and signing with Saudi-funded LIV Golf. Reports say Rahm’s deal with LIV Golf is estimated to be worth about $500 million. [more]

BASKETBALL | The Los Angeles Lakers and the Indiana Pacers will play tomorrow in the inaugural NBA Cup in-season tournament championship game after semifinal-round victories last night over the New Orleans Pelicans and the Milwaukee Bucks, respectively. [more]

COLLEGE FOOTBALL | LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels has been named The Associated Press college football player of the year. Daniels is also a finalist for this season’s Heisman Trophy, along with Oregon quarterback Bo Nix, Washington quarterback Michael Penix, and Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1991, Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus signed the Belovezha Accords – an agreement stating that the Soviet Union had effectively ceased to exist and establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States in its place as a successor entity. [more history]

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